The Ascent of Board Games

A monthly podcast dedicated to the history, evolution, present state, and future potential of our favorite board games.

August 12th, 2019    

Here Be Spoilers (Parts 1 and 2)

Here are links to the complete set of spoiler files for our Legacy episode, for those who have played these games (or never plan to do so) and want to hear more.

Note that these files are NOT part of the regular podcast feed - otherwise listeners might inadvertently listen to something they don't want to be spoiled on. These links will take you directly to the mp3 files for each game, which you can play on your listening device of choice. Each file is around 4-7 minutes long each except for the Gloomhaven one, which is about 12 minutes (turns out we really like talking about that game - who knew?). Hopefully those of you who listen will find something entertaining or useful in them!

Thanks for listening!

August 1st, 2019    

Episode 13 - Legacy Games

It's our anniversary - we've been doing this podcast thing for a whole year! To celebrate, we're doing an episode on legacy games, and as a special treat for you (and for us!), we are joined by a very special guest - Rob Daviau, the man behind the legacy game craze (and a lot of other great games besides)! In this episode:

  • Rob tells us about the original inspirations behind Risk Legacy, the person who knew that Pandemic Legacy would be a trilogy before Season 1 was even published, and the brand new Machi Koro Legacy, available right now at Gen Con!
  • We talk about some of Rob's non-Legacy games too, such as the forthcoming Return to Dark Tower!
  • Joe offers such thoughtful gaming insights as "If you lose, you don't win" and "At the end, there's one winner, and that person wins."
  • We learn how to play Six Degrees of Frank Branham.
  • We discover that, thanks to Joe, we've been playing legacy games all along.

Legacy games are susceptible to spoilers, but this is a spoiler-free episode. You can find some additional short files with spoiler content for various games here, but the main episode is safe for all (except for the occasional grownup word).

Also, there are some new options on the future episodes poll - please let us know what you'd like to hear us talk about!

Thank you for listening! As always, reviews on iTunes are a huge help for us, especially if there's a text review along with the rating. And if you'd like to interact with us, you can do so at any or all of the following:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

July 2nd, 2019    

Episode 12 - Hidden Teams

Hello again, listeners! In Episode 12, we're talking about Hidden Teams games, sometimes referred to as Social Deduction games. Are you a werewolf, a cylon, a terrorist, a bad cop, The Thing From Another World, and/or Hitler? Doesn't matter to us, we're just glad you're listening. (Except for Hitler. That guy was really a jerk.) Join us as:

Thank you for listening! As always, reviews on iTunes are a huge help for us, especially if there's a text review along with the rating. And if you'd like to interact with us, you can do so at any or all of the following:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

June 2nd, 2019    

Episode 11 - 4x Games

Okay, now I'm awake enough to write some proper show notes. Episode 11 is all about "4X" games - games in which you Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate on your way to victory. The term originated in the world of computer games, but there are enough similarities - and enough interest on our poll (which you should totally go fill out if you haven't already) that we decided to do an episode on the subject. Join us as Mike experiences a temporal crisis, Brian totally fails to make the podcast more family-friendly, and Joe recaps the biggest rule-reading failure ever.

A few relevant pictures:

Thank you for listening! As always, reviews on iTunes are a huge help for us, especially if there's a text review along with the rating. And if you'd like to interact with us, you can do so at any or all of the following:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

May 2nd, 2019    

Episode 10 - Deduction Games

It's time for Episode 10 of The Ascent of Board Games! But what could our latest topic be? Well, here are a few clues so you can deduce what the episode is about...

  • Steve Allen discussing his years on What's My Line?...
  • ...and a clip from the show in which he encounters his long-time nemesis
  • A great overview (with puzzles!) of the legendary Martin Gardner's column in Scientific American
  • A board game cover that is definitely a product of its time
  • A set of files to help you investigate the mysterious terrorist group called Black Vienna
  • And a game board that hurts Jayson's brain

As always, thank you for listening. If you enjoy what we're doing, we'd also really appreciate a review on iTunes - they are a great way for the show to grow!

If you have an opinion you'd like to share with us - and we suspect you do - please drop us a line via any (or all!) of the following methods:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

April 5th, 2019    

Episode 9 - Dungeon Crawls

Phew - we finally made it! Many apologies for the delay in this month's episode, which was primarily due to two factors:

1. It was (and is) our longest episode to date.

2. Brian and Mike were both suffering from colds, and every time they inhaled, it sounded like Darth Vader had joined the show. (We did our best to edit all of that out - sorry if any of our death-rattles slipped through.)

We promise to be back on schedule next month!

This episode, we strap on our broadswords and delve into the torchlit world of dungeon crawl games. Among other things, we learn that the podcast's Joe quotient is rather higher than previously believed...

Some relevant links that might be of interest to you: 

As always, we really appreciate your support (and patience). If you enjoy what we're doing, we'd also really appreciate a review on iTunes - they are a great way for the show to grow!

If you have an opinion you'd like to share with us - and we suspect you do - please drop us a line via any (or all!) of the following methods:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

April 2nd, 2019    

The dungeon is dark, and full of terrors…

...and also a little late this month. We recorded Episode 9 in a timely manner, but a variety of problematic technical errors and an unusually long running time means that the editing has not quite been finished yet. Rather than give you a rough and unfinished episode, we (mostly Brian) decided to take an extra day or two to finish things properly. Expect this episode by midweek - we promise it will be worth the wait!

(Um...it's a thematic decision...the episode is, uh, dungeon crawling towards you. Yeah, that's it.)

In the meantime, you can get properly prepared with this...er, "classic" video from the 1993 dungeon crawl Dragon Strike.

Sorry for the delay - we'll be with you again shortly!

March 1st, 2019    

Episode 8 - Great Gimmicks

Welcome back! This month's episode isn't about a game mechanic as such; it's about the weird and wonderful gadgets and one-of-a-kind crazy ideas that make some of our most memorable games...well, memorable. (We promise we'll be back to a more evolutionary topic next month.) You'll definitely want to visit our Instagram and/or Facebook pages to check out the photos and videos for this episode, since there are a number of gadgets that are really tough to explain in an audio-only medium. Listen on as we:

  • ...display a truly staggering ignorance of how copyright law works!
  • ...finally talk about a Catan game, after only 8 months!
  • ...giggle like twelve-year-olds at the names of some problematic Keyforge decks!
  • ...refer vaguely to a really cool gimmick that we can't actually talk about now because spoilers!

A few related items you might want to check out:

 

 

If you would be kind enough to give us a review on iTunes, we'd really appreciate the support!

If you have an opinion you'd like to share with us - and we suspect you do - please drop us a line via any (or all!) of the following methods:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

February 14th, 2019    

Valentine’s Day Bonus Episode!

Happy Valentine's Day! This (bonus) episode is pretty much the opposite of the last one, as we go on an old-fashioned, romantic, and very silly playthrough of Barbara Cartland: A Romance Boardgame. This is a paragraph game based, as you might guess, on a few of Barbara Cartland's 700+ (!) romance novels. Since it's a paragraph game, there's a lot of reading and, well, none of us are actors or even audiobook narrators, so be prepared for a few rough patches. In our defense, the paragraphs in the game had a...lot...of ellipses in weird...places.

Note: This game was published almost 35 years years ago, based on novels that were published 40+ years ago and set 100-200 years ago. The text contains some cultural insensitivity, a LOT of gender stereotyping, and at least one scene that today would be classified as sexual assault. The books and the game are products of their respective times, and while we can laugh about the old-fashioned ideas now, that certainly doesn't mean we approve or support that kind of behavior when there are any real people involved. We hope you understand.

In case you're interested in checking out the source material (but beware spoilers!), the three stories we played through are based on:

Also, here's the iTunes link for Barbara Cartland's album of love songs, and a recipe for Harira. (It'll make sense - well, maybe a tiny bit more sense - once you've heard the episode.)

We'd love it if you'd give us a review on iTunes - it's one of the very best ways for us to find new listeners.

If you have an opinion you'd like to share with us - and we know you do - please drop us a line via any (or all!) of the following methods:

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

February 2nd, 2019    

Episode 7 - Asymmetrical Games

I'm not gonna lie...this episode gets a little "inside baseball," as we delve (greedily and too deep) into the topic of what, exactly, constitutes an asymmetrical game. Hopefully we're at least able to keep it amusing along the way! If this one's not to your liking, stay tuned, as our Valentine's Day bonus episode should be a lot more light-hearted (not to say silly). Meanwhile, in this episode:

  • Joe goes on an angry rant about a game he claims is good!
  • Brian misquotes Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart!
  • We finally talk about Gloomhaven!
  • And, most shockingly, people have their minds changed on a topic via rational discussion like civilized human beings!

If you would be kind enough to give us a review on iTunes, we'd really appreciate the support.

If you have an opinion you'd like to share with us - and we know you do - please drop us a line via any (or all!) of the following methods:

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

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